As we age, various changes in our skin and underlying soft tissues occur. The skin loses collagen and its elasticity, and the fat beneath the skin atrophies and disappears. As these processes occur, the face appears more hollowed and the skin begins to sag. The once well-defined facial contours are hidden, making us look older. Additionally, the jowls and neck skin become more prominent and horizontal and vertical bands develop in the neck. A facelift corrects all of these issues. There are many types of facelifts depending on the patient’s age, motivations, skin type, and degree of skin laxity. These range from minimally invasive to more extensive procedures.
Strictly speaking, a facelift refers to a tightening of the skin and soft tissues from the cheek bones to the collar bones. Therefore, your cheeks, jowl line, and neck are all improved by this procedure. This procedure can be broken up into either a cheek lift or a neck lift if only one of these areas is in need of surgery.
The incision is tailored to the patient but is placed in natural creases in front of and behind the ear to make it unnoticeable. For males and females the incision is slightly different so as to not distort the hair bearing skin of the face in males. In order to address the neck muscles, fat, and skin, a small horizontal incision is placed beneath the chin in a natural crease where it cannot be seen. The skin and underlying soft tissue structures are elevated to provide for longer-lasting, more natural appearing results.
These tissues are then re-draped and the redundant tissue is removed. This is done in a way to restore the natural youthful appearance and to avoid a surgical appearance. The best results in a facelift, occur when the patient has a well-defined bony structure and excellent skin quality. Therefore, Dr. Blanks may recommend additional procedures such as facial resurfacing, liposuction, fat augmentation, or chin augmentation to guarantee the best results.
The length of the procedure can vary from 2-5 hrs, depending on the exact facelift procedure and additional complementary procedures. It can be performed under conscious sedation or general anesthesia. Together with Dr. Blanks, the appropriate anesthetic plan will be determined.
The patient should be able to return to work within 10-14 days. At the end of the procedure, the incisions are wrapped in an occlusive dressing to minimize swelling and promote wound healing. This dressing is removed the day after the procedure.
Some swelling and bruising is expected and normal. After the dressing is removed, you will be instructed on how to clean and care for the wound. Sleeping with your head elevated will minimize the swelling and expedite the recovery. Sutures are removed in 7-10 days.
Give us a call to set up a free consultation (910)762-1070.
Fat Transfer / Liposuction
Contouring is performed when there is excessive tissue, usually in the form of fat. Liposuction using standard technique or more current ultrasonic technique is performed to give the face a better-defined structure. On the contrary, certain parts of our face including the temples, cheeks, and lips atrophy with aging giving us a hollowed and aged appearance. In these instances, the hollowed regions can be restored using the patient’s own natural fat. This is a minimally-invasive, excellent long-term solution to restore facial harmony.
Depending on which areas of the face or neck are being addressed, small needle-size holes are made to remove or inject fat. Fat can be harvested from the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks depending on patient preference using a pen-size incision. The procedure usually takes 30 min. to 1 hr. These procedures can be performed under local anesthesia or conscious sedation. Together with Dr. Blanks, the appropriate anesthetic plan will be determined.
Patients can expect to return to work the same day or within a couple days. If fat transfer/augmentation is performed, a dressing will be placed over these sites to stabilize the positioning of the fat. Some swelling and minimal bruising can occur. Sutures at the fat harvest sites will be removed within 7 days.
Facial Paralysis Correction
There are multiple causes for partial or complete facial paralysis. Injury to the facial nerve from surgery, trauma, or medical conditions can leave the patient with both functional as well as cosmetic defects. The treatment plan is individualized based on the location, timing, and extent of injury.
Dr. Blanks offers the full array of procedures to improve the paralyzed face. These include procedures to correct facial asymmetry as well as to restore function of the eye and mouth. Of utmost concern is protection of the eye. This can be achieved through one or two simple procedures. The first is placement of a weight within the upper eyelid to allow eye closure. The second procedure shortens and tightens the lower eyelid to allow for proper tear drainage. Correction of eyebrow, cheek, and mouth asymmetry can be addressed at the same time or using a delayed procedure. Suspension of the facial soft tissues is done using either the patient’s own muscle or tendon in the face or by using a synthetic material. This allows for elevation of the paralyzed tissues to restore symmetry. Small, hidden incisions are usually placed behind the hairline of the temple and at the corner of the mouth. Depending on the procedure(s) performed, the length of the surgery varies between 1 hr to 3 hrs. They can be performed under conscious sedation or general anesthesia. Together with Dr. Blanks, the appropriate anesthetic plan will be determined.
Depending on the specific surgery performed, most patients are able to return to normal activity within a few days. Usually, no dressing is required and wounds are cleaned using the specific instructions provided. Sutures are removed within a week of surgery at the time of your follow-up.
Unlike most plastic surgeons, Dr. Deidra Blanks is totally focused on facial plastic surgery. Her focus has allowed her to perform more facial surgery and to develop the skills and techniques that others will just never develop. She has that special woman’s perspective and attends to all the subtle nuances of aesthetics.
Give us a call to set up a free consultation (910)762-1070.